Here, finding myself as the “ground” of the Witness – formless awareness – I discover that there is no absolute boundary between this human self and the rest of the world of phenomena. The self is not fixed and not separate. It is all a seamless fluid whole.
This experience of no self is unremarkable in that the content is the same, as it always has been. There is still this human self – with its sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts and behaviors, and there is still the rest of the world of form – the table, room, trees, clouds, animals, human beings.
And it is remarkable in that the boundary which seemed so “real” now is revealed as just an artifact of a particular identification (exclusively as a human being). Where I used to take myself as one of innumerable objects in the world, I now find myself as that in which the whole world of phenomena – including this human self – happens.
Deepening into this “no self”, I now realize that any sense of “I” is an artifact. It comes from believing in a thought of “I”, from taking a layer of abstractions (here, an idea of “I”) as accurately reflecting that which it points to. I now see that there is no “I” anywhere, not even as formless awareness.
This too is unremarkable in that the content is the same. There is still whatever happens in the moment – movements of this body, music, a room, sensations, feelings, sounds of distant cars, formless awareness – and the only difference is that there is so clearly no “I” anywhere in all of this. It is empty of any inherent “I”.
And it is remarkable in that what previously seemed so real – this center of gravity in formless awareness, this new “ground of being” – now is also revealed to not inherently exist. There is just what is, and any sense of “I” comes from an added layer of abstractions.
No Self & No I
Both of these are unremarkable in that they are just a realization or noticing of what already is. And both are remarkable in the effect this noticing has on this life – the release that comes with it.